The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
Category drivers are predictive of how consumers will behave in a given category. These drivers have shifted this year, and all brand-related characteristics are making larger contributions to the consumer engagement and loyalty process, specifically in the areas where consumers expect the most in the category.
Category drivers, and the attributes, benefits, and values that make them up, including brand-related values, are critical to a marketers understanding of product and service engagement and getting it right when dealing with consumers.
Properly configured, category drivers will tell you far more than who a consumer is, which is the marketing research typical (demographic and attitudinal) point-of-view. They tell you what you really need to know: how consumers will behave in the marketplace, and most importantly, what will get them to behave more positively toward your offering versus your competitors. This only matters, of course, if you’re keeping score by counting your sales and profits, and not merely tracking awareness levels.
At a time when brands are struggling to differentiate from their competition and to find ways to profitably engage their customers, the changes this year serve as a bellwether for marketers. It will be the products and services that answer with a truly consumer-centric view of their category being a real brand based on predictive loyalty metrics, that stand to gain the most, and establish themselves as this decades brand leaders.
If marketers think that differentiating their products and services and engaging consumers is hard now, just wait until they try doing it when their brands devolve into category placeholders, a product or service that everyone knows, but isn’t known for anything in particular. That ‘s when no discount will be deep enough, which is a hard lesson that many retailers have already learned.
Contributed to BSI by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys